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Josh Bornstein

National Head of Employment Law
Josh Bornstein

Josh Bornstein is a Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, based in Melbourne. He is the national head of the firm’s Employment and Industrial Law department. In May 2019, Josh was named Workplace Relations Partner of the Year at the annual Lawyers Weekly Awards. 

Practice Area
Employment issues

BA, LLB (Hons)

Rated by Doyle's Guide as Australia's leading employment lawyer for employees between 2013-2022, Josh has over 20 years’ experience as an employment lawyer, advising professionals in the private and public sectors throughout Australia and overseas. His clients have included: senior executives, three women who were sexually harassed by former High Court Judge Dyson Heydon, the Victorian Government Ombudsman, broadcaster Ross Stephenson, publisher Louise Adler, former Melbourne City Councillor Tessa Sullivan, the State of Victoria, legal, health, education and financial services professionals, IFM Investors, the Fair Work Ombudsman, Australian Super and the Essendon Football Club. 

Josh is a skilled and strategic advisor and litigator with extensive experience regarding: employment contracts, restraint of trade, sexual harassmentworkplace investigations, adverse action, unlawful discrimination, whistleblower claimsworkplace bullying, and industrial disputation. He is vigilant about the protection of his client’s health and reputation.

Josh's legal achievements include:

  • Obtaining an historic compensation settlement on behalf of 3 women whose claims of sexual harassment against former High Court judge, Dyson Heydon, were upheld by an independent investigation
  • Representing Beechworth Lawn Tennis Club in seeking to overturn decisions by Sports Australia in the 'Sports Rorts' affair
  • Settled an unlawful discrimination class action against the Commonwealth for $100 million
  • Represented the Victorian Government Ombudsman in a workplace investigation
  • Represented the Chief of Staff to a Victorian Government Minister whose workplace bullying complaint was investigated and upheld
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement for an unpaid bonus for a senior executive
  • Represented Essendon Football Club in litigation about ASADA's investigations 
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement for a senior, long serving employee, after first taking urgent court action to prevent his employment being unlawfully terminated
  • Acted for the Fair Work Ombudsman in its prosecution of an employer who failed to offer a suitable position to an employee returning to work from maternity leave


“Thank you for your and your team’s support and guidance. You stood by me. I have learned a lot on this journey. One learning is that you are not just another good lawyer. You and your team provide an invaluable service: to give a voice to the marginalised. With this result I have my voice back. I have achieved a resolution after two years of standing up for what is right, even when it was not necessarily popular to do so. I cannot thank you enough.”  Senior Executive, Financial Services

Memberships & accreditations

  • Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law Advisory Board Member (University of Melbourne) 2004 - ongoing
  • LIV Workplace Relations Section Executive Committee Member 2007-14
  • Maurice Blackburn Director 2004 - 2017
  • Australian Journal of Labour Law Editorial Committee Member 2012 - ongoing
  • Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board Deputy Chair 2013 - ongoing
  • Member, Victorian Racing Tribunal
  • Australia Institute Director 2016 - ongoing
  • Centre for Future Work Advisory Committee 2016 - ongoing
  • Centre for Enployment and Labour Relations Law Advisory Board 2016 - ongoing
  • Tzedek President 2012-14
  • Per Capita Director 2008-2014
  • State Trustees Director 2010-2012



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